AlphA All in One, Film Budgeting Software

AlphA All in One Film Budgeting Software: Frequently Asked Questions


Q50: Rebuild does not work because the file to rebuild is "too" corrupted

A: Use the classic method by first open the file to rebuild without activating its macros and save it in xlsx format.

Q49: Rebuild not work because the options input mask does not appear

A: Check that the name of the file to rebuild does not contain dangerous characters such as ' ? # ...

Q48: Quickly check what the formulas refer to (like sums for example)

A: Double-click on the cell containing the formula.

Q47: Create a specific additive model (like for post-production without insurance)

A: Create an additive, configure it as desired, rename it Model x (do not confirm it) and then duplicate it whenever you like...

Q46: Autosave with OneDrive

A: This feature allows, when working on the Cloud via OneDrive with an Office 365 annual subscription, to save a file on the fly. Each change therefore causes a backup which can slow down the use of the AlphA. It is therefore advised to disable this function.

Q45: Buttons do not appear although the hand appears over the fly on their location

A: This is an Excel bug in versions 16.17 and above under Mojave. Refreshing the display with the zoom in the sheet (2 fingers on the pad) makes them appear again. From AlphA 2.40, this should no longer happen and if necessary, see the Help / Refresh menu.

Q44: The payroll column no longer appears

A: This can happen after printing which temporarily hides them. To display this column again, activate the menu Tasks / Overview of Default Columns and Rows. From AlphA 2.40, this should no longer happen.

Q43: Excel print al empty page

R: It is possibly a corruption of the file in user’s library folder. Library is accessible with the menu Go in the Finder menu (on desktop) with clicking on Alt. Delete this file and restart your computer and keep Excel up to date (Excel menu Help / Check for Updates).

Q42: My file (file 1) does not save and the changes are not taken into account.

- Download the generic model and place it on the desktop (model 1)

- Duplicate this model on the desktop with the "Duplicate" menu of the Ctrl-Click on the file icon.

- Rename this copy with the name (strictly identical) of file 1 (the one that is open and buggy).

  1. -Open model 1 (click OK to all opening messages) then activate the menu AlphA "Tasks / Rebuild", choose in the Finder window the file 1 on the desktop, click "Select all" in the window that’s opened then click OK.

  2. -Repair the computer's permissions with Onyx software (or similar) and clean Office are also advised.

Q41: What should I do if AlphA blocks on opening and the message in the status-bar says "Check internet" when the connection seems good?

A: The connection may be too weak (2G). Try each of these actions separately: temporarily disable the Internet and then use the AlphA. If this is not enough, repair the computer's permissions with Onyx software (or similar), disable the antivirus, check the firewall (system preferences), clean Office...

Q40: Can we change the position of the tabs without affecting the links?

R: Yes. Use the Ctrl-click in the tab bar to access an AlphA menu and then a menu "Manage quotes".

Q39: The cursor does not select the cell correctly.

A: This is a Mac Office 2016 bug. AlphA allows you to fix it "on the fly" with the Ctrl E shortcut or by activating the « Help / Correct cursor position » menu. It is sometimes possible that adjusting the zoom with 2 fingers allows to solve momentarily this problem, idem by removing the comments in the sheet (menu Tasks).

Q38: AlphA is extremely slow...

A: This can be related to several things: the computer does not have enough RAM, the hard drive is full (- 10% free), the computer needs cleaning (see here), Office needs to be reset (see here) , Excel add-ins can slow down AlphA (Tools / Add-ons menu) and uncheck them...

Q37: When Excel crashes, the next reopening opens up a lot of files and takes time.

A: This is normal, Excel reopens all recently used files. To avoid this, click Cancel when Excel reopens and then open a file normally.

Q36: Bug with Office 2016 on Office PC during backup

A: You must disable the AutoSave property in Excel preferences, option Save...

Q35: With Office 2011, files are often read-only

A: This is an incompatibility between Office 2016 and Office 2011 when both versions are installed. If a file is opened with Office 2016 and saved, it will be read-only if opened with Office 2011. Eventually, it would be appropriate to use only one version of Office to avoid this problem. These are invisible files starting with ~ $, accessible with Onyx by checking the option "Show invisible files".

Q34 : Add rows in the consolidated log without buttons

A: In a cell of any row, do a ctrl-click and an AlphA menu appears...

Q33 : I can not print on PC

A: Select ADOBE PDF or PDF Creator (free download) before printing and click Print in the window and not Preview. Be careful, changing the printer in the print window can make Excel freeze.

Q32 : Can I install and re-use Office 2011 with High Sierra?

A: Yes, even in parallel of Office 2016 ... To do this, download the installer from AlphA site (Office 2011 tab) by following the instructions exactly. At first launch, you may see a message that the computer does not recognise the developer. Click OK and start again with a ctrl-click on the installer then select "Open with".

Q31 : What to do in case of compilation error and corrupted file?

A: Download the generic template from this site (Main tab) then after full opening of the file, use the menu "Tasks / Rebuild an AlphA Workbook". This procedure completely rebuilds the file (logos, license, estimate, additives, account rendering ...). These compilation errors occur when the file has been saved with Excel 2011 and is open with Office 2016.

Q30 : What to do in urgency if menus don’t appear ?

R : All the functions of the program are accessible via the "Excel/Tools/Macros/Macros..." menu. Locate them by name in the list which, I hope, are sufficiently self explanatory.

Q29: Add a contingency post (cinema quote type)

A: Use the Creative Fees button below the Summary, which adds a row to the General Total. Change its name to "CONTINGENCIES" and the row below to "TOTAL with contingencies".

Q28: Offer a position by mentioning it in the quote (and avoid it being hidden during the reduction) with AlphA 2.0

A: Enter 0.001 in the rate. Activate Excel / Preferences / Display and select the "Show Zero Values" option with Office 2011 or "Show Nulls" with Office 2016.

Q27: Mention a discount in a quote and calculate the new rate (AlphA 1.42 or below)

A: Enter the normal rate. Then in User preferences, select the option "Display column of markup % included in rates". The column AF is displayed. In the row, enter for example -20. The rate that is displayed for the client is the normal rate - 20%. Then, to the right of the item heading insert "Discount - 20%". It is possible to write a formula for this: = "Discount"&AF102&"%" for row 102, for example.

Q26: Disappearance of the logos, replaced by a red cross

A: This is a random Office / El Capitan bug

  1. With AlphA 2.0 and above, close and reopen the file, if necessary restart Office. If it doesn’t work, use the menu « Navig/Visual identities » and click the red button to retrieve the logo from another file.

  2. With AlphA 1.42 or below, you may try to initialise Office by removing the Microsoft folder in the Application Support folder of the Users / Library folder and all files starting with in the Preferences folder of Users / Library and the Microsoft folder in the same Preferences folder, if any. To display the Library folder, click the Go menu of the Finder while pressing the Alt key.

Q25: Accelerate and reduce PDF size when printing doesn’t work properly on versions (<1.42)

A: Select "Normal" for the print quality in the Excel print window (page setup button).

Q24: Offering an item and mention it in the estimate and let it displayed in reduced view mode

A: Enter 0.001 for the rate.

Q23: Menus do not work

A: Use Excel menu Tools / Macro and locate the name of the macro (but this is not obvious). Contact maintenance.

Q22: How to find the license key

A: Menu «Navigator / About»

Q21: Production Notes

A: You can copy a production note from Word and paste it into the placeholders for the 3 note pads in the Summary of the quote.

Q20: Office 2011 License Key

A: Replace the Office Preferences file in the Library folder of the hard disk at the root (explanations and download here).

Q19: Change the information (address, tel, email ...) below the logo

A: Select the cell containing the address and click Yes to the message that appears. You will then be redirected to a sheet where you can enter the new information. Click on the "Back" button to quit this sheet.

Q18: The logos do not print while they appear in the preview of the print window.

A: The OSX installation is defective. Do a reinstallation or an upgrade with a more recent OSX, see here.

Q17: Which versions of Excel should I use?

A: AlphA 1.42 or below works with MS Office 2007 or above on PC, on Mac, Office 2011 only.

AlphA 2.0 or above works with Office 2011 and 2016 for Mac and all versions on PC.

Note that all versions must updated with Microsoft Office free updates via Excel Menu «Help/Check for updates».

Q16: How do I import my client data in the demo version?

A: Open the demo version and use the menu «Navig/About...». Then click on the button «Import client data» and choose an ancient file. At last, select a Client label.

Q15: The program is unstable, freezes or Excel quits unexpectedly...

A: Probably because Excel is not updated with the latest free Microsoft Updates (check Excel "Help / Search for Updates" menu).

  1. -Restart the computer, open Excel and repeat the test

  1. -With Office 2011, if it still does not work, close all Microsoft Office programs (Word, Excel ...) and then move to the trash Microsoft preferences (files starting with and "Microsoft" folder) that are located in "Users / Home / Library / Preferences" folder. Then re-start Excel. With Mac OS 10.8, you can access this library by simultaneously pushing the Tab key when activating the «Go» menu in desktop finder.

  2. -Move also the whole folder Microsoft that is located in "Users / Home / Library / Application Support" folder.

- It can be useful to clean the computer and repair permissions with the free program Onyx.

- In general, it is advised to disable automatic backups of Excel files (Excel menu "Preferences / Save" on a Mac).

  1. -If it does not correct the instability, use another computer. It will determine if the problem has to do with the file or with Excel or with the operating system or with the computer itself.

- If the file is corrupted, you can sometimes fix it by saving it in Windows Excel. Otherwise you have to redo manually the quotes (see a quick method in the FAQ below) or contact the maintenance service (we will analyse the problem, may be fix it but not redo the file).

  1. -It is also advised to avoid working on a hosted network or a server. Indeed, if the internet or the intranet connection have micro-instabilities, it may corrupt the file.

Q14: AlphA 1.32 quits unexpectedly, what to do?

A: Try applying the patch 1.0 that can solve this problem.

Q13: Excel crashes when printing...

A: A local solution is to adjust the print zoom ratio in the AlphA window that appears right after the launch of a print. You can also adjust the zoom in the Excel printing window (not the AlphA window but the one including the button to print the PDF). The long-term solution if the problem persists, may be to adjust the fine tuning default zoom in AlphA "User Preferences", page "Print and Other" and then save the template.

Q12: Menus "Navig" and "Tasks" appears but nothing happens when they are active...

A: This problem can occur when the file name contains the character "?".

Q11: I accidentally saved the file with the extension xlsx (instead of .xlsb), how to recover or quickly redo the file?

A: In this case, the macros are gone. It is not possible to recover them and therefore the file. We must redo it with quotes and additives. Starting with a virgin model with the same User Preferences (currencies...), you can use the menu "Import in this sheet" to rebuild a main quote in full (in the dialog box, select the file inadvertently saved in xlsx and then select the quote). Warning, this procedure doesn’t import neither the "Working Budget" nor the "Actuals" sections of a quote. You can also use the menu "Import an additive" to import them from the xlsx file. However, there is no automated procedure to import a "Consolidated Account Log" and this one should be done manually, if necessary.

With AlphA 2.0 or above, you can use the menu « Tasks/Rebuild and AlphA file ».

Q10: I can not confirm (validate) a quote and sales do not appear in the "Consolidated Account Log"...

A: An estimate is confirmed in the "Validated" column in the "List of created quotes" sheet accessible with "Navig" menu.

Q9: Can I cut and paste?

A: Technically, you can in some cases but it strongly advised not to (same thing for copy and paste of cells which contain formulas)!

Q8: Excel mentions circular references...

A: If, on any Excel files opened (AlphA or else), there is a circular reference, i.e. a formula that you entered and that refers to itself, it may interfere with the functioning of AlphA (like any other Excel sheet - Excel biting its tail!). It is therefore necessary to identify the formula and it is not always easy. Try at first to exit Excel and reopen the matrix to see whether the circular reference is still there. If yes, you must find it and eliminate it...

Q7: The menus "Tasks" and "Navig" do not show proper submenus when they are deployed...

A: It may be a problem with updating menus. Click on a different tab and return to previous sheet can update menus.

Q6: The menus "Tasks" and "Navig" do not appear...

A: The file may have been saved with the extension xlsx or you are trying to open it with Mac Office 2008 (a version to be banished) or you didn’t enabled macros, in which case this is normal. If the problem persists with a correct extension (.xlsb), macros are enabled and the version of Excel is at least 2011, open a blank sheet with the "File" Excel menu / "New" and then return to the AlphA file. This procedure normally updates "Tasks" and "Navig" menus.

Q5: Can I disable the message "Enable Macros" at the opening of an AlphA file?

A: Yes, in Excel preferences, check the "Security" tab.

Q4: How to send to a client a detail of actual expenditures with a fixed margin

A: Use either the Working Budget or the Actuals mode. The Summary displays the margin resulting from the difference between the cost of production and the sales mentioned. Then adjust the Negotiated At amount to get the desired margin.

Q3: The Summary is divided in two parts when it should one only..

A. This rarely happens, but in case, you must update the presentation of the Summary using the "Navig / Summary" menu, click on the "Recap" button in the top bar when you are in the budget or do ctrl R.

Q2: How to display columns of margin and overhead while the follow-up mode is displayed?

A. In the interface of the follow-up mode (menu Tasks / Follow-up), click on the button "Show Columns of Qty, Nb, Rates, Markup%." You can also hide Qt, Nb and Rates columns in the client section (on the left) with the button of the same name.

Q1: Some ### appear in cells...

A. This phenomenon can occur with exceptionally large figures. When it happens, you can adjust the size of the font to fix this issue.

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